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Sci Rep. 2016 Jul 22;6:30150. doi: 10.1038/srep30150.

Graphene-augmented nanofiber scaffolds demonstrate new features in cells behaviour.

Author information

Cellin Technologies LLC, Tallinn, Estonia.
Department of materials engineering, Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn, Estonia.
School of Chemistry Technology, Aalto University Foundation, Espoo, Finland.
Protobios LLC, Tallinn, Estonia.
ITMO University, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation.


Three-dimensional (3D) customized scaffolds capable to mimic a native extracellular matrix open new frontiers in cells manipulation and advanced therapy. The major challenge is in a proper substrate for in vitro models on engineered scaffolds, capable to modulate cells differentiation. Here for the first time we demonstrate novel design and functionality of the 3D porous scaffolds of aligned, self-assembled ceramic nanofibers of ultra-high anisotropy ratio (~10(7)), augmented into graphene shells. This unique hybrid nano-network allows an exceptional combination of selective guidance stimuli of stem cells differentiation, immune reactions variations, and local immobilization of cancer cells, which was not available before. The scaffolds were shown to be able to direct human mesenchymal stem cells (important for stimulation of neuronal and muscle cells) preferential orientation, to suppress major inflammatory factors, and to localize cancer cells; all without additions of specific culture media. The selective downregulation of specific cytokines is anticipated as a new tool for understanding of human immune system and ways of treatment of associated diseases. The effects observed are self-regulated by cells only, without side effects, usually arising from use of external factors. New scaffolds may open new horizons for stem cells fate control such as towards axons and neurites regeneration (Alzheimer's disease) as well as cancer therapy development.

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